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2012 is turning out to be a banner year for area sky-watchers. It was just a couple of weeks ago when we were discussing how to best experience the “super moon” that loomed large over the city on Saturday night, May 5.
An equally rare astronomical occurrence happens this weekend: The first annular solar eclipse since 1994 that will be visible in Southland skies is due early this Sunday evening.
As reported by the L.A. Times, this “ring of fire” eclipse (when the moon and sun align perfectly, the moon appearing to block out most of the sun other than the outermost edges) will begin locally at 5:42 p.m. on Sunday night, peak at 6:38 p.m. and finish by 7:42 p.m., just 10 minutes before sunset at 7:52 p.m. Convenient, considering it is a school night.
The Times warns that attempting to take in the eclipse along the coast is a dicey proposition that could leave viewers disappointed, depending on the weather (fog and low clouds are a real view-killer). Still, expect large crowds on SoCal beaches, so plan accordingly.